The Digital Media Association (DiMA) today praised the introduction of a bill, introduced by Representatives Chris Cannon (R-UT) and Rick Boucher (D-VA), that would modernize several provisions of copyright law that are impeding the development of online entertainment.
“The Music Online Competition Act will ensure that consumers have Internet access to legal high-quality music, that creators get paid rapidly, and that competition-rather than lawsuits-will drive this marketplace forward,” said Jonathan Potter, executive director of DiMA. We applaud Congressmen Cannon and Boucher’s effort to craft a narrow approach that would bring copyright law current with today’s digital and online economy.”
The Music Online Competition Act (MOCA) updates and clarifies many provisions of the Copyright Act that have led to protracted and costly legal and regulatory disputes. It is designed to reduce litigation and provide a framework for consumer-friendly competition in the online entertainment industry.
Among other things, the legislation would help to equalize the copyright law treatment of webcasters and broadcasters. One of the key rules of technology (and a mantra for aviators everywhere) is: “redundancy equals life.” Because all technology requires multiple servers and several codecs, webcasters are potentially liable for “reproduction” rights obligations that do not impact broadcasters. The bill introduced today would eliminate this technologically based legal distinction. In addition, MOCA would streamline royalty payments to songwriters and music publishers and give recording artists the right to directly receive webcast performance royalties.
“DiMA has always believed that consumers should have access to new innovative technologies that provide quality entertainment content-and that creators and copyright owners should be compensated in the most efficient manner possible,” stated Potter.